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Balanced Spelling Program
Unique spellings are created by the children as they are developing their skills of spelling development referred to as invented spellings. Based on the knowledge of phonology that the children have, spelling creation is a unique phenomenon in the children. In most of the cases, it is seen that the children use letters for spelling words and consonants rather consistent usage of sounds. Some of the main examples include night (NIT), girl (GRL) and TIGR (tiger). There are five main stages of spelling development in children. 1st stage, emergent spelling, is known for the scribbling of letters, letter like forms, and scribbles and children do no associate marks with phonemes (Tompkins, Campbell, and Green, 2011), p. 168). This stage represents a more natural expression of alphabets along with many language related concepts. Second stage, letter name alphabetical setting is represented by the representation of phonemes along with words and letters. At this stage, an understanding of alphabetic principle develop in the children. Third stage, referred to as within word pattern spelling, and is represented by an ability of the children to spell one syllable short vowel words. Long vowel patterns as well as r-controlled words can also be spelled by the children at this stage (Tompkins, Campbell, and Green, 2011, p. 173). Children between 7 and 9-year-olds are included at this stage. Some of the main concepts that are included at this stage include spelling patterns that include loge vowels, r controlled vowels, consonant patterns that are more complex, less common vowels and diphthongs. Fourth stage defined as syllables and affix spellings is the stage in which focus is given by the students towards the syllables. The knowledge of phonemes and syllables is applied to longer words and multisyllable words. The children learn more about inflection-based spellings. Rules about consonant doublings are also learned by the children. Compound words and homophones are also learned by the children. Some of the most commonly used suffixes and prefixes are learned by the children. Children between 9 and 11-year are included at this stage. Fifth stage is known as derivational relations spellings. A relationship between the meanings and spelling is developed and understood by the children at this stage. It is learned by the children that words that have similar meanings have related spellings. This rule holds even if there are certain changes in vowel and consonant sounds. The main focus of the children is on the morphemes, Greek and Latin words. A special form of words that are known as eponyms are also learned by the students. Children between the ages of 11 and 14 are included in these stages (McLaughlin, and Allen, 2002, p. 90).
b. Phonics is one of the most controversial topics in children's spelling learning. It is believed that most of the educational ills of the children could be solved if phonetics can be taught in a better manner. It is argued by the researchers that phonics is a complete educational program. There are four main cueing systems in the phonetics being taught to the children. It is important that students learn spelling using traditional and conventional ways so that effective communication can be learned by the children. When students start to learn spellings at an early stage, and these learning reflect learning of the children in their phoneme-grapheme relationships, spelling patterns and phonic rules. It is important that phonics is learned by the children at an early stage. Phonics is learned by the children in the primary grades as these are an important part of spelling instruction. It is important that the teachers also pay attention to English orthography (Tompkins, Campbell, and Green, 2011, p. 171).
c. One of the best ways with the help of which spellings are taught to the children includes weekly tests. However, the tests are not to be considered a complete solution to learning spelling. In order to become spellers at a better level, it is important that the orthographic system in English is also learned. Certain strategies are developed by the children to learn English so that usage of dictionaries and other resources is learned. Some of the main components of the English spelling program include the following;
1. Spelling strategies are in a need to be taught by the teachers
2. Instructions should be such that they should match the developmental stage of the children
3. Writing and reading opportunities must be provided to the children
4. Words that are used in higher frequency must be taught to the children by the teachers.
Spellings are learned by the students so that spellings of rather unfamiliar words can be figured out by the children. It is important that errors in student writing are analyzed by the teachers so that weaknesses in children can be analyzed for improvements (Cowen, 2003, p. 56). Based on this analysis, spelling instructions are to be given to the children based on their age and developmental stage. Phonemes and phonetics are to be corrected by the teachers in the students and these are to be connected with spellings. Mini-lessons that are given to the children must be based on phonemes so that children can learn the ways of manipulating and learning words orally. Newer strategies must be defined by the teachers for the students so that the children can learn spelling words that are new and unfamiliar. It is important that new and unfamiliar words are taught before teaching the children more familiar words. Children can be more helped by posting words on word walls so that words can be used for many activities. Word ladders, word sorts, puzzles, and hands on spelling activities must be started by the teachers for better and improved learning. It is important that spelling programs must be considered as one of the most important program of children's education. Children are to be involved in daily reading as well as writing activities so that the students are able to apply and implement their knowledge (Moss, and Lapp, 2009, p. 65).
d. One of the main facts in this case is that as native English learners, five learning stages are the same in the case of new English language learners. English learners are slow learners as compared to the native learners as they are less familiar with English consonants, spelling patterns and phonetics. With the development of spelling, an improvement of reading in the children takes place. When a certain word is learnt by the English learners, they usually begin by learning its pronunciation and meaning. Children are then introduced to the written forms of the words. With an increased practice, English learners are made to learn the ways in which words can be spoken and recognize the words (Tompkins, Campbell, and Green, 2011, p. 172). The words are learnt to be written by the English learners. When English learners are learning spellings, it usually reflects the level at which the learners are aware of the language. With an increased exposure towards reading and writing instructions, correct ways to spell words are learned by the English learners. For English learners, spelling is much more demanding as compared to reading; it helps in an increase of knowledge of the students in spellings. Teachers must be aware of the home language of the English learners. How their home language differs from English language is an important fact to be learned as these differences are more important to be learned as compared to the similarities. One of the main examples in these cases is that of Chinese language. Syllable length characters are used instead of letters in Chinese language. Similarly, Arabic language is written in an opposite direction as compared to English. Formation of words in Arabic depends on its location within the text (Lacina, and Silva, 2010, p. 39).
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